The US Election 2020 has been a tumultous one, with several states counting mail-in ballots well past the close of polling centers on 3 November, 2020, the race remained too tight to call into the next day.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was declrared as the 46th president-elect on 7 November. Biden had secured Electorial College votes from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and lead in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, earning him more than the 270 votes needed to be the president-elect.
The path to presidency for the former lawyer and career politician wasn't easy, from family tragedies to political and personal failures have struck Biden over the years. This election has been Biden's third attempt for the White House to be the commander-in-chief.
Out of law school and into politics
After graduating from University of Delaware in 1968, having studied law , Biden moved to Wilmington, Delaware, to begin practicing at a law firm. Not long after he became an active member of the Democratic Party, and in 1970 he was elected to the New Castle County Council. While serving as councilman, in 1971, Biden started his own law firm.
In 1972, the Delaware Democratic Party encouraged a 29-year-old Biden to run against the popular Republican incumbent J Caleb Boggs for the United States Senate. Few thought Biden stood any chance, but he ran a tireless campaign organised mostly by family members. His sister, Valerie Biden Owens, served as his campaign manager, and both of his parents campaigned daily. That November, in a tight race with a large turnout, Biden won an upset victory to become the fifth-youngest US senator elected in the US history.
1972: Tragedy strikes the budding politican and family man
Just as all of Biden's wildest dreams seemed to be coming true, he was struck by devastating tragedy. A week before Christmas in 1972, Biden's wife and three children were involved in a terrible car accident while out shopping for a Christmas tree.
The accident killed his wife and daughter and severely injured both of his sons, Beau and Hunter. Biden was inconsolable and even considered suicide.
He recalled: "I began to understand how despair led people to just cash in; how suicide wasn't just an option but a rational option ... I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry."
At the encouragement of his family, Biden decided to honor his commitment to representing the people of Delaware in the Senate. He skipped the swearing-in ceremony for new senators in Washington and instead took the oath of office from his sons' hospital room.
In order to spend as much time as possible with his sons, Biden decided to continue to live in Wilmington, commuting to and from Washington each day by Amtrak train, a practice he maintained through his entire long tenure in the Senate.
Three and a half decades as a distinguished US senator
Biden served a distinguished Senate career from 1973 to 2009.
During his time in the Senate, Biden won respect as one of the body's leading foreign policy experts, serving as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations for several years.
His many foreign policy positions included advocating for strategic arms limitation with the Soviet Union, promoting peace and stability in the Balkans, expanding NATO to include former Soviet-bloc nations and opposing the First Gulf War.
In later years, he called for American action to end the genocide in Darfur and spoke out against President George W Bush's handling of the Iraq War, particularly opposing the troop surge of 2007.
Senator Biden married his second wife, Jill Biden in 1977, the couple has a daughter.
First try to be the US president, and trying circumstances
By 1987 Joe Biden had established himself as one of Washington's most prominent Democratic lawmakers, Biden decided to run for the US presidency.
He dropped out of the Democratic primary, however, after reports surfaced that he had plagiarized part of a speech.
Biden had been suffering severe headaches during the campaign, and shortly after he dropped out in 1988, doctors discovered that he had two life-threatening brain aneurysms. Complications from the ensuing brain surgery led to blood clots in his lungs, which, in turn, caused him to undergo another surgery. Always resilient, Biden returned to the Senate after surviving a seven-month recovery period.
Second try and ending up as the vice-president
In 2007, 20 years after his first unsuccessful presidential bid, Biden once again decided to run for the US presidency.
Despite his years of experience in the Senate, however, Biden's campaign failed to generate much momentum in a field dominated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Biden dropped out after receiving less than one percent of the vote in the crucial Iowa caucuses.
Several months later, though, Obama—having secured the Democratic nomination after a hard-fought campaign against Clinton—selected Biden as his running mate. With his working-class roots, Biden helped the Obama campaign communicate its message of economic recovery to the blue-collar voters crucial to swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden convincingly defeated the Republican ticket of Arizona Senator John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on 2 November. On 20 January, 2009, Obama was sworn in as the 44th US president and Biden became the 47th vice president.
Second term as the vice president, presidential medal of freedom and another tragedy
The Obama-Biden team faced Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, and Romney's vice-presidential running mate, US Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in 2012 election.
Obama defeated Romney in the election, earning a second term as president and Biden another term as vice president.
Around this time, Biden also became a leading figure in the national debate about gun control.
On 30 May, 2015, Biden suffered another personal loss when his son Beau died at the age of 46, after battling brain cancer.
"Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known," Biden wrote in a statement about his son.
Following this tragedy, Biden considered a run for the presidency, but he put the speculation to rest in October of 2015 when he announced that he would not seek the 2016 Democratic nomination.
On 12 January, 2017, President Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction, the nation's highest civilian honor, in a surprise ceremony at the White House.
Obama called Biden "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," and told him he was being honored for ''faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations.''
Biden gave an emotional impromptu speech thanking the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, his wife Jill and his children.
Third time's a charm
Joe Biden delivered the expected news that he was running for president in the 2020 presidential election on 25 April, 2019. In his video announcement, the former VP referenced President Trump's attempt to equate people on both sides of the violent, racially charged clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, saying he knew then that "the threat to our nation was unlike any I'd ever seen in my lifetime."
During a one-on-one debate with Bernie Sanders in mid-March, Biden committed to nominating a woman to serve as his vice president. He became the presumptive Democratic nominee when Sanders ended his campaign in early April, though he also found himself facing new allegations of sexual assault, this time from a former aide named Tara Reade.
On 11 August, 2020, Biden announced Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate. "I have the great honor to announce that I've picked Kamala Harris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants — as my running mate," Biden said.
"Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I'm proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign."
In August, Biden officially became the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, and eventually won the election.
The 2020 presidential election saw the former US vice-president receiving a record 74 million-plus votes, making the soon-to-be 78-year-old to be the oldest president in the history of the US.
"America, I'm honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me," Biden tweeted after learning of his victory.